Addiction is defined as: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. The normal addictions we think of are alcohol and drugs. But just because something does not fall under those two headings, does not mean that it is not an addiction. Wanting to be successful can be an addiction. Wanting to be popular, also, could fall under this category. You think this is being too severe? How many people want success so badly, that they can almost taste it? To stop striving for that goal, that moment of achievement is unthinkable for them. It would be catastrophic to their psyche. Popularity, material things, sex, and many others can be so strong that even breaking the law to achieve them might appear normal.

We know that we are not perfect, so SOMETHING is preventing that from happening in us. To move forward, to progress we have to look within ourselves. What is it that is preventing me from being the person I should be? That is a valid question for all of us. What prevents me from being kind and loving to ALL people? How intensely do I want peace and quiet in my house? Rather than instruct and teach my children, I barter with them. I cajole them. I give them whatever it takes to achieve that serenity that I yearn. I am not teaching by example; I am bribing them to do what I want. If I do this continually, then I am addicted to peace and quiet, and willingly forego the actions and controls of parenthood.

You may say that this does not qualify as an addiction. Let me respond with a question of my own. If you do nothing and let the turmoil in the house continue, what is your eventual reaction? Anger? Violent anger? Screaming at the child? Sending your child off to his/her room? Is this not causing in you, a severe trauma?

This is just one example of how we let things, circumstances, or conditions upset us. What comes out of you, when you drop and break your iPhone? How do you re-act when you are not popular? When you don’t get your way? When a person you like, treats you with disdain? These and many other times are good indicators of our weaknesses.

We call them weaknesses in ourselves. But for others, being dependent on drugs and alcohol, that is an addiction for them. What is so different between the things we have trouble coping with, and others being unable to cope with drugs or alcohol? This is a question each of us must answer for ourselves. It is through the negatives in our life, that we can understand and comprehend who we are. And with that comes the knowledge of what strength and guidance we need to pray for, to work on. In understanding what it is that takes us down, we will eventually see the steps we must take to overcome them in our lives. Whether drugs, or alcohol, or impatience, or greed, or popularity or any other siren luring us to destruction by their seductive singing. each poses a major obstacle that we must overcome if we are to be truly Christian in our lives.

Advent seems a very good time to begin this journey within. So at the end of Advent, we can lovingly cradle the infant Jesus in our arms at His birth.